could someone help me to find a solution for this problem,

when i start running synaptic package manager it gives me the following error:

E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'sudo dpkg --configure -a' to correct
 the problem. 
E: _cache->open() failed, please report.

command sudo dpkg --configure -a is tested on terminal as well. it gives following output:

root@kapia-laptop:/home/kapia# sudo dpkg --configure -a
dpkg: status database area is locked by another process
  • 2
    Just reboot, all open dpkg processes will be closed... :) Then open synaptic again – Pit Oct 1 '09 at 11:55

that means you have already an process of dpkg running, either as synaptic, update manager or apt-get/aptitude

as a last resort, if nothing works you can try deleting the lockfile /var/cache/apt/lock, but be careful, this can potentially corrupt your package database

  • 1
    or there could be a stale lockfile? – Kimvais Oct 1 '09 at 10:26
  • it's my experience this is the correct general case -- i've left aptitude running in another terminal and forgotten about it. if ps doesn't show any other dpkg/synaptic/aptitude processes running on the system, assuming the lockfile to be stale may be reasonable -- but i'd try rebooting before manually removing the lockfile. just in case. – quack quixote Dec 23 '09 at 8:18

If it's an option, I'd just reboot. Let Linux do it's thing and close the programs properly for you. Either reboot through the graphical interface, or open terminal and run sudo reboot or sudo shutdown -r now. Upon rebooting, run sudo dpkg --configure -a. If you are still getting errors regarding dpkg being locked, follow knittl's answer.


When you running sudo dpkg --configure -a be sure, you have closed synaptic package manager, autoupdate dialog and all other software related to packages. Only one instance at time can work with packages database.

  • 2
    No it shouldn't. linux != server (at least not all the time). – tj111 Oct 30 '09 at 19:07

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